10-20-2019  10:53 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Leaking pipe in Northeast Portland releases sewage

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A sewer pipe in Northeast Portland leaked an estimated 1,000 gallons (3785 liters) of untreated sewer water into an embankment.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services plugged the leak Saturday near I-84 and Northeast 21st...

Seattle's first Opportunity Zone development breaks ground

SEATTLE (AP) — The Opportunity Zones program was marketed as a way to help poor communities by offering major capital-gains tax breaks for investors to park their cash in 8,000 designated low-income census tracts.Instead, critics have labelled it a "tax scam," ''the latest example of urban...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

ENTERTAINMENT

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

Jennifer Lawrence marries art dealer Cooke Maroney

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence got married over the weekend in Rhode Island during a ceremony and reception studded with Hollywood stars.The "Hunger Games" star tied the knot with New York art dealer Cooke Maroney on Saturday at a Newport, Rhode Island,...

New HBO series 'Watchmen' hopes to match original's ambition

NEW YORK (AP) — Damon Lindelof didn't take lightly the challenge of adapting the most acclaimed graphic novel of all time.The "Lost" and "The Leftovers" co-creator was a fan of the revered "Watchmen" book ever since his father handed him the first few issues when he was 13 in the mid-1980s....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Where you die can affect your chance of being an organ donor

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Roland Henry had died in a different part of the country, his organs might have been...

Jennifer Lawrence marries art dealer Cooke Maroney

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence got married over the weekend in Rhode Island during a...

3 US soldiers killed in accident at Fort Stewart in Georgia

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) — U.S. Army officials say three soldiers were killed and three others were injured...

Mogherini rues 'historic mistake' over EU membership talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc's leaders have made "a...

Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to stinging criticism, President Donald Trump on Saturday abruptly reversed...

Indonesia's popular president sworn in for 2nd term

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who rose from poverty and pledged to champion...

McMenamins
Emily Jane Fox CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums jumped again this year, but the rate at which they rose slowed to historic lows, according to a new survey Tuesday.

For insured workers, the cost of buying health insurance for a family of four increased 4% to $15,745 in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

Last year, premiums leaped 9% from the year before.

"These are strikingly low numbers to those of us who have been studying health costs for a long time," said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "A 4% increase in health premiums is good news."

Altman said there are several factors that could have led to the slowdown, including the economy's slow recovery. When people have less money to spend and wages are flat -- as they have been in recent years -- they avoid getting medical care. Compounding the issue is the rise of high-deductible plans and other forms of cost sharing, like co-pays, that cause families to pick up a larger percentage of the bill.

"Health care use and the economy have always been closely tied, and my sense is that the recession and slow recovery are responsible for much of the recent health spending and premium trends," Altman said.

While premiums appear to be improving, health care costs still weighed heavily on families. The report showed that premiums for family coverage outpaced both workers' wages and general inflation. In less than a decade, premiums have increased 97%, roughly three times as fast as wages and inflation.

"It still takes a growing bite out of middle-class workers' wages, which have been flat or falling in real terms," Altman said.

This burden was even harder to shoulder for lower-income families. At companies where at least 35% of workers earn $24,000 or less, employees paid an average of $1,000 more each year than workers at companies where at least 35% of employees earn $55,000 or more, the report found.

And it's not just premiums. Lower-wage employees were also more likely to pay high deductibles. The survey found that 44% of workers at companies with many low-wage employees face an annual deductible of $1,000 or more, compared with 29% of those at companies with many high-wage workers.

"This year's survey suggests that working families at the low end of the wage scale face significant out of pocket costs for coverage," said study lead author Gary Claxton in a statement. "Firms with many lower-wage workers ask employees to pay more out of pocket ... even though the coverage itself tends to be less comprehensive."

Altman said he doesn't expect a return to double-digit increases in premiums anytime soon, especially as provisions from the Affordable Care Act kick in.

Even though much of the health reform law won't go into effect until 2014, the report estimated that the number of young adults covered by employer plans increased to 2.9 million this year from 2.3 million in 2011, as a result of the provision that lets young adults stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.

The 14th annual Kaiser survey was conducted between January and May 2012, and polled 3,326 small and large employers with three or more workers.

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